Ontario reports 351 new coronavirus cases, 10 deaths as total cases top 1,700

The Ontario government has reported 351 new cases of novel coronavirus on Monday, marking the biggest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began.

The death also rose by 10, to 33.

Four-hundred-and-thirty-one cases were deemed resolved, meaning the active case total in Ontario stands at 1,252 and the cumulative total is 1,706.

On Monday, health officials changed the way they report the current status of cases. The province no longer listed how many cases are awaiting test results.

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The Ford government said on Monday that it will now expand on the information it provides daily on the outbreak numbers in the province.

It launched a new web page which provides a more “relevant summary of data” from provincial health officials, according to a statement.

“Ontario has been diligently monitoring and taking decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep Ontarians informed,” Health Minister Christine Elliott wrote.

“We will continue to work with Public Health Ontario, public health units and the health sector to have and report on the best possible data to help us understand the scope of the COVID-19 outbreak in our province and inform our collective response to keep all Ontarians safe and healthy.”

The total numbers of people tested is 48,461 in the province.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford said he was concerned about how many people are leaving their homes for non-essential reasons.

As the temperature on Sunday approached 20 C in the Greater Toronto Area, Ford said he and his colleagues saw streets that were “packed.” He called the number of people outside “shocking.”

Ford was asked if he would issue further orders or take enforcement measures so that people stay home.

“Everything’s on the table. Over the next few days, over the next week, we’re going to see how this evolves and I won’t take anything off the table,” he said.

Ontario state of emergency extended

Ford said he continues to rely on the advice of medical officials.

He also announced he would be extending a state of emergency for another two weeks.

Meanwhile, the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, issued a statement emphasizing the need for those who are 70 and older to stay home during the pandemic.

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“This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons,” Williams wrote.

“Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands. This also applies to individuals who have compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions.”

Williams also said that everyone should leave their homes only for essential reasons, including accessing health-care, shopping for groceries, picking up medication, walking a pet, or helping a vulnerable member of the population.

The provincial government implemented numerous orders recently in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, including the closing of all businesses deemed non-essential and a ban on social gatherings of more than five people.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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